We have evolved to the point where high school kids are now getting baseball cards. To some degree I understand some of them, like the USA Baseball cards. We now also have AFLAC cards in Bowman and Leaf's Perfect Game product. Some of the players in these sets end up in the MLB Draft and there is not much distance between there appearance in the high school card products and their first MLB cards in Bowman products.
As a college baseball fan I am always curious to see if any players from NC State end up in these sets either as a college or high school player. Last year I picked up a few cards of Xavier LeGrant from Panini's USA Baseball set who is now a member of their baseball team. Of course, more well known instances of NC State players appearing in these products happened a few years back when the team was led by Trea Turner and Carlos Rodon.
Both players were featured prominently in the USA Baseball sets.
State still has a good baseball team even though the average fan may not know the names as well as they did when Rodon and Turner were starring on the diamond for the Wolfpack. One of my favorite players is infielder Joe Dunand. Incidentally, he was featured in Leaf's Perfect Game set a few year's back. While I have generally stuck with the USA Baseball cards in the past for my amateur baseball fix, I do branch out every once in awhile.
Having a Dunand card made my week. Here is the card.
Last year Dunand hit seven home runs, 12 doubles, and drove in 40 runs. At the end of the season he participated in the College Home Run Derby in Omaha at the College World Series. Made for a good year and made me happy to own this nice card featuring his signature with a nice piece of green jersey swatch. I have actually seen a few copies of this card with white patch pieces, but they have been a little out of my price range.
Besides being a really good college baseball player Dunand also has a little bit of good baseball blood running through his veins. He is actually the nephew of one Alex Rodriguez. If you follow ARod on social media Dunand actually occasionally makes an appearance or two. A few weeks back Dunand and ARod showed up at the NC State/Miami football game where the baseball team was recognized on the field in between quarters.
I heard ARod is a pretty big fan of the U. Probably good he went neutral.